Guitar Setup: What is the correct string height for my guitar? Most techniques recommend an average gap of around 0.010 inch, although some playing styles might like a little less, some just a little more. Set the flat edge of the fret cutter on the neck of the guitar and pinch the fret between the tool’s jaws. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. There are two kinds of truss rods: single action and dual action. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. This article has been viewed 79,375 times. "Found this site very helpful, lots of good information on guitars. This article was co-authored by Michael Papenburg. What Should I Know About Acoustic Guitar Strings? This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Indeed, many players do prefer a very straight neck, but in certain cases, though, players like to have just a little concave bow in the neck — with the fingerboard curving up if the guitar is lying on its back — to keep the strings from buzzing against the frets when you strum and to provide a natural curvature that matches their vibrational arc when you play. This fret is usually the 12th fret on your guitar. A guitar technician will have specialized tools to measure the precise relief of the neck and will be able to confirm whether or not a truss rod adjustment is needed. In any case, it is good that, even visually, there remains a slight space. 3. The first step in any setup is to take a look at the neck and see what correction we may need to make. It depends on what kind of guitar. A guitar that buzzes at the first five frets will likely need more relief. Decrease: To decrease relief in the neck (reduce a concave bow), turn the adjustment point clockwise to tighten the truss rod (as viewed facing the adjustment point). He specializes in Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux platforms. A truss rod is a metal bar (usually made from steel or graphite) that reinforces the neck of a guitar, bass, or other stringed instruments. A guitar that buzzes above the 12th fret or across the entire fretboard will likely need the action raised if the neck relief is properly set. You can buy new guitar necks directly from the guitar manufacturer online, or you can buy custom-made necks as long as they match the style of guitar you have. Due to the way strings vibrate when strummed or plucked, some amount of forward relief is normally required in a guitar neck to keep strings from buzzing against frets. As previously stated, a good set-up is a balance of the neck, the nut, and the saddle. Tell-tale signs are the saddle needing to be set lower and lower over the years and the sound losing its high end. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 444,436 times. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. If the neck bends away from the guitar, take it to a guitar shop to have it looked at. Don’t try to pull off the neck entirely at this point since it’s still attached with bolts. Lightly press the string until it touches the top of the fret, you can feel how much space is between the strings and the frets. If the string has a low action, or the strings are less than 1.6 millimetres (0.063 in) from the neck at the 12th fret, you’ll need to raise the bridge. You never, however, want any back bow (a convex curve in the fingerboard), which definitely produces a lot of fret buzz and other playing difficulties. The traditional setup is to have a very slight amount of curve in the neck, which is known as a concave bow. When you set up your guitar, start by making sure your neck is straight. I decided to use a few folded up pieces of paper in between the clamps to prevent any damage to the guitar body. To reduce the amount of relief and make your guitar a little easier to play, you’ll want to tighten the truss rod or turn the truss rod nut clockwise. The “action” or distance between the strings and the neck differs among guitar players, but 1.6 mm (0.063 in) is standard for most guitar players. On steel-string acoustic guitars it is at the base of the headstock or accessible through the sound hole. Raising and Lowering the Bridge. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Check your instrument’s specifications. If you just don’t feel confident doing this yourself, though, don’t hesitate to take it to a pro; a basic neck adjustment shouldn’t cost and arm and a leg, unless there’s something drastically wrong.